The Best Water Filters

The best water filters remove harmful contaminants from your drinking water and can even make your water taste better. By using a combination of sediment, carbon, PHO, KDF, and other filtering materials, water filters can remove chemicals, heavy metals, excess minerals, bacteria, and more from your water system. There are many different styles of water filters to choose from and we’ve got the low down on the best of each type for your home.

After reviewing dozens of different water filters we have identified the best to keep in your refrigerator, to install underneath your kitchen sink, and to cleanse your entire house’s water system at the point of entry. Considering factors such as filtration methods, water output, and filter longevity we have chosen our top picks and put together a detailed rundown of many more great water filters for your consideration.

Best Water Filter Overall
CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter
The CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter is the best of the best because installation is simple, filtration is superb, and your water flow will go unhindered.

We chose the CuZn US-200 under Counter Water Filter as our overall top pick. It’s a compact and powerful under-sink filter that efficiently packs multiple stages of filtration into a single filtering module that is both easy to install and replace when needed.

The 5 Top-Rated Water Filters

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Water Filter OverallCuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter4.8
Best Reverse Osmosis Water FilterHome Master Artesian Pump Loaded Filter4.8
Best Budget Water FilterFrizzlife Under Sink Water Filter
4.6
Best Whole House Water FilteriSpring Heavy Duty Filtration System
4.5
Best Water Filter PitcherOXA Water Filter Pitcher4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Water Filter Overall: CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter

The CuZn US-200 Under Counter Water Filter has an unassuming exterior design and compact dimensions, yet its interior is packed with ultra-efficient, long-lasting filter media that’ll keep your drinking water free from multiple types of common contaminants. The three-stage filtration process includes a micro sediment membrane, acid-washed coconut shell carbon, and kinetic degradation fluxion filter materials.

The sediment membrane filters out microparticles before they reach the more complex filtering materials. Once water passes through the coconut shell carbon it is stripped of organic contaminants and chemicals, and then the KDF material removes heavy metals, prevents bacterial growth, and helps prevent hard water scaling. All of this is packed into a single module that can last through 50,000 gallons or for up to five years before needing to be replaced.

It’s simply astonishing how efficient thisCuzn UC-200 filtration system is. The filter installs directly onto the water line underneath your sink and has a high-flow 3/8″ output so that your faucet’s water flow rate isn’t impeded. Each CuZn UC-200 filter installs onto a single water line. This means that you can purchase a single unit to filter only the cold water that flows through your kitchen sink, or you can purchase one additional unit to install separate filters on each of the cold and hot water lines. Repeat the process as necessary for however many water lines you want to filter throughout your entire home.

CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter Key Features:

  • Three-stage filtration
  • Five-year filter lifespan
  • Connects directly to under sink water line
  • Five-year warranty

Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filter: Home Master Artesian Pump Loaded Filter

Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
Home Master Artesian Pump Loaded Filter
A complete and robust under-sink filtration system, the Home Master Artesian Pump Loaded Filter is the best kit for your kitchen sink. Period.

If you need a complete reverse osmosis filtration system for all of the water that passes through your kitchen sink, it doesn’t get any better than the Home Master Atersion Pump Loaded Filter. This premium kit has seven stages of filtration that removes essentially every contaminant that could be in your water system, and then it uses a patented Full Contact technology to fully re-mineralize the water for a refreshing taste that’s rich with essential nutrients.

This Home Master system takes filtration a step further than most other filters. It has a catalytic carbon filtration media that can target chemicals like chloramine that other carbon filters cannot remove, and it has filters in place to remove heavy metals and scaling that many other multi-stage filters don’t even target. This system filters it all.

Fit with a storage tank and permeate pump, this system has gallons of pure water on-demand and at high pressure the instant you ask for it. The 3.2-gallon storage tank holds already filtered water so that when you turn on the faucet there is no delay in getting your water, and the added pump ensures that your water pressure is top-notch. Home Master has made the effort to reduce tank degradation by balancing the water’s pH at two different points in the filtration process thanks to its Full Contact re-mineralization technology.

Home Master Artesian Pump Loaded Filter Key Features:

  • Seven-stage filtration system
  • Built-in pump
  • Included nickel faucet
  • Five-year warranty

Best Budget Water Filter: Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter

Best Budget Water Filter
Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter
An effective two-stage filter that’s easy to install and is available at an affordable price, the Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter is a top-value filtration system.

Designed in much the same way as our top overall pick, the Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter is a compact under-sink filtration system that is easy to install, effortless to use, and has a long-lasting filter cartridge that is simple to replace when the time comes for a new one. We like this style of home water filtration because it is space-saving and quite powerful for how compact it is.

The two-stage filtration features a five-micron sediment filter and a 0.5-micron block carbon filter. This form of filtration removes small particles, chemicals, odors, and heavy metals from you drinking water, but does not remove the naturally occurring minerals that already exist within your water, leaving it alkaline and rich with electrolytes. Each filter cartridge will last for two years or 1600 gallons before needing to be replaced.

Installation and cartridge replacement are both a cinch! Like our top overall pick, this filter installs directly into a water line underneath your sink. This model features a built-in emergency shutoff valve that makes it so you do not need to shut off your water line to replace the filter cartridge. Everything about this filter has been made extraordinarily easy to use.

Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter Key Features:

  • Two-stage filtration system
  • Built-in shutoff valve
  • Two-year filter lifespan
  • Convenient carry handle

Best Whole House Water Filter: iSpring Heavy Duty Filtration System

Best Whole House Water Filter
iSpring Heavy Duty Filtration System
The iSpring Heavy Duty Filtration System has superb filtration capacity with large ports to keep your entire house’s water system clean and flowing fast.

The iSpring Heavy Duty Filtration System is an excellent point of entry water filter that cleanses the water for your entire home. It is a two-stage filtration system with a five-micron polypropylene sediment filter cartridge and a coconut shell carbon block filter. This highly-effective combo will cleanse your water of small particles, chemicals, odors, and VOCs like pesticides, herbicides, and industrial solvents. iSpring also claims that this system can filter out 90% of chlorine from tap water.

As a point of entry system, this filter cleans your water before it cycles through your home, meaning that all of your pipes and appliances will be protected from harsh contaminants as will your drinking and bathing water. With large one-inch input and output ports, you can rest assured that your water flow will remain strong.

These two filter cartridges have a lifespan of about six months to one year depending upon usage. They have a 50,000-gallon useable limit which should provide a family of four with a year’s worth of filtration. Replacement cartridges are easy to install, and if you need even more capacity iSpring offers even larger whole-house water filters with more capabilities for larger families and households.

iSpring Heavy Duty Filtration System Key Features:

  • Two-stage filtration
  • Point of entry filtration system
  • Six-month to one-year filter lifespan
  • Large one-inch input and output ports

Best Water Filter Pitcher: OXA Water Filter Pitcher

Best Water Filter Pitcher
OXA Water Filter Pitcher
An impressive seven stages of filtration and a modern fridge-friendly design make the OXA Water Filter Pitcher our favorite.

Water filter pitchers are a dime a dozen, but most do little more than act as a sediment filter. Not so with the OXA Water Filter Pitcher. This pitcher dials the filtration capability all the way up to seven stages of water cleansing power with a sediment filter, carbon filter, ion ceramic ball, mineral balls, and more to purify your drinking water and add back essential minerals to improve the water’s taste and pH.

It is an incredibly impressive filter for a being pitcher filter, and we also appreciate its tall and narrow design which is ideal for modern refrigerators. This pitcher’s dimensions are 9.7 x 5.9 x 11.9 inches which is a great size for top-shelf storage or tall door shelves. The easy-fill lid allows you to fill the pitcher without removing the covers, and the handle is conveniently long and strong.

Two long-life filters are included in the package, each able to filter approximately 153 gallons before needing to be replaced. There’s even a filter reminder to let you know when it is time to swap it out. Overall, this is a well-rounded water filter pitcher with a modern design and top-tier filtration capability.

OXA Water Filter Pitcher Key Features:

  • Seven-stage filtration system
  • Two filters included
  • 2.5-liter capacity pitcher
  • Fridge-friendly design

Who Should Buy a Water Filter

Most people will benefit from a water filter. If your home receives municipal tap water you can inquire about the water quality report to see what contaminants may be affecting your water’s quality and taste. Once you have this information you can use it to purchase the best filter for your home that removes those reported contaminants and adds missing minerals back into your water. If your water quality is already good, re-mineralizing water filters can help to improve the water’s taste while acting as a backup to ensure that you are never subjected to accidental contamination.

People with wells can also have their quality water tested for contaminants and use that information to get the right filter for their home. Some homes will greatly benefit from a whole-house filter, while others may only need a simpler under-sink or pitcher filter to improve their drinking water.

Sometimes water filters aren’t enough. Harmful bacteria and viruses may overload a water filter which simply traps them in its filter media. We’ve researched and ranked the best water purifiers that completely cleanse your water of microbes, small organisms, and other water-borne pests

Drinking clean water and staying properly hydrated are essential to a healthy body. If you’re looking to improve your health, we also have pieces by registered dietician Amanda A. Kostro Milleron on how you can boost your immune system and some tips for keeping your liver healthy.

Best Water Filter Overall
CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter
The CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter is the best of the best because installation is simple, filtration is superb, and your water flow will go unhindered.

Important Features to Consider

There are a few important considerations to think through before purchasing a water filter.

  • Filter style. The style of filter you choose will determine the price, ease of installation, and daily effort required to use an maintain the filtration system. Whole-house filters are the most difficult to install, but they will passively filter all of the water in your home and often have filters that do not need to be changed for months or even years. Under-sink filters are used to filter the water of the kitchen sink. They are easier to install than whole-house filters and also require little maintenance or input from you once it is installed. Pitchers, counter filters, and faucet filters require virtually no installation but must be regularly interacted with and maintained.
  • Stages of filtration. On our list, you will find filters that range from one to five or more stages of filtration. All filters at the very least have a sediment filter, usually made of cotton, that traps tiny particles a micron or smaller in size. Carbon filters are the next most common stage and they are used to remove chemicals, odors, and foul tastes from your water. Beyond that is when filters tend to get specialized in that they filter out one or all of the following: heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, scaling, and more.
  • PSI and output. It’s important to know the PSI input and output capabilities of a filter because this will essentially determine how much water pressure you have and how fast the water will come out of your sink after it passes through the filter. The larger the PSI rating, and the larger the output port, the better water flow you will have.
  • Re-mineralization. This is a final stage in some multi-layered filters. During the filtration process, essential minerals may be removed from your water. Re-mineralization adds back magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other healthy minerals back into your water which also raises its pH and makes it more alkaline. Some people prefer the taste of water that is alkaline, while others prefer acidic water. What’s your preference?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a water filter and how does it work?

Water filters use a variety of different filtering materials to remove contaminants from water such as sediment, chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria, and viruses. There are many types of water filters, some of which are designed to filter an entire house water system, some which connect directly to a kitchen sink, and some which filter a single cup of water at a time.

These water filters use filtering materials like cotton and activated carbon, and processes like ionization, to remove contaminants from water. This filtration process can also remove healthy minerals and anti-oxidants from the water. To combat this, a number of filters have re-mineralization filters where the filtered water passes through one last stage where essential materials such as magnesium and potassium are added back into the water to make it both healthier and tastier.

Should you filter tap water?

Tap water is held to certain regulations that are supposed to maintain the health and safety of the public water system, but it is possible for contaminants to temporarily lower public water quality. The Center for Disease Control suggests that most people who filter their home tap water do so to improve the water’s taste. You should receive a yearly report about your local tap water quality and contaminant levels. Once you have the proper information you can purchase the right type of filter to remove your tap water’s most common contaminants and add back in electrolytes and other minerals that your water may be lacking. You should filter your tap water if you have concerns about your tap water quality.

What is the best way to filter tap water?

The easiest way to filter tap water is to use a whole-house system or a direct under sink connection filtration system. Once installed, these robust systems cleanse your water with only occasional maintenance on your part. Pitcher filters and faucet filters can be just as effective, but they do require more attention as the filters need to be regularly replaced.

Are water filters better than bottled water?

Water filters are more cost-effective in the long run and are a much better alternative for the environment. Bottled water itself is sometimes nothing more than municipal tap water. Your filtered water will be as clean and tasty, if not more so, than the average bottled water.

Other Water Filters We Reviewed

Best Water Filter Overall
CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter
The CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter is the best of the best because installation is simple, filtration is superb, and your water flow will go unhindered.

We looked at 20 other water filters. Even though they didn’t make our five best water filter list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for ensuring your drinking water is clean and safe. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Activated Carbon Water Filters

APEC Carbon Block Water Filter

APEC Carbon Block Water Filter

The APEC Carbon Block Water Filter is a three-stage filtration system with a polypropylene sediment filter and two extruded carbon block filters. All three filters have been designed to last over 12 months before needing replacement. Water that passes through this filtration system is guaranteed to be free of sediment, chemicals, odors, and foul tastes.

Key Features:

  • Three-stage filtration
  • Included chrome faucet
  • One-year warranty

Cost: $135

iSpring Carbon Block Water Filter

iSpring Carbon Block Water Filter

Designed in much the same way as the previous filter, the iSpring Carbon Block Water Filter also utilizes a single sediment filter and dual carbon filters. This model comes packaged with a brushed-nickel faucet and has a see-through housing over the sediment filter for easy at-a-glance inspection.

Key Features:

  • Three-stage filtration
  • Included brushed-nickel faucet
  • See-through sediment filter housing

Cost: $115

PureDrop Aquacube

PureDrop Aquacube

Stylish and simple, the PureDrop Aquacube is about as easy to use, and look at, as a home filter can get. Installation takes less than 30 minutes, and an LED indicator will monitor your filter life and let you know when it’s time to change them. The fourth-stage Ultra Filter removes anything larger than 0.01 microns before it reaches your faucet.

Key Features:

  • Four-stage filtration
  • Ultra Filtration fourth-stage down to 0.01 microns
  • LED filter life monitor

Cost: $115

Reverse Osmosis Water Filters

APEC Supreme Reverse Osmosis Filter

APEC Supreme Reverse Osmosis Filter

The APEC Supreme Reverse Osmosis Filter has six stages of filtration that include a sediment filter, two carbon blocks, a FILMTEC RO membrane, a coconut carbon filter, and a re-mineralizing calcium filter. This filter has been certified by the Water Quality Association to remove 99% of contaminants. As APEC’s premium reverse osmosis filter, this unit adds calcium carbonate to raise the pH of your water to make it more alkaline.

Key Features:

  • Six-stage filtration
  • Adds calcium carbonate to raise pH
  • Two-year warranty

Cost: $340

APEC Top Tier Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

APEC Top Tier Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

It may not be the “supreme” model, but the APEC Top Tier Reverse Osmosis Water Filter is still a filtration powerhouse. It features every filter found in its more expensive counterparts minus the re-mineralizing calcium filter. If alkaline water isn’t a necessity for you, this is a terrific value for a top tier water filter.

Key Features:

  • Five-stage filtration
  • 50 gallon per day capacity
  • Two-year warranty

Cost: $190

APEC Ultra Reverse Osmosis Filter

APEC Ultra Reverse Osmosis Filter

The APEC Ultra Reverse Osmosis Filter is the mid-grade option between the previously mentioned APEC filters. This unit has five-stage filtration, quick connect fittings, and a fast flow 3/8″ output that will put out water through your faucet faster and with more pressure than smaller outputs.

Key Features:

  • Five-stage filtration
  • Fast flow output
  • Two-year warranty

Cost: $300

Express Water Reverse Osmosis Filter

Express Water Reverse Osmosis Filter

Matching five stages of filtration with five stages of re-mineralization, the Express Water Reverse Osmosis Filter completely filters out harmful contaminants from your water and then loads it up with mineral and antioxidants such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium to provide you with the healthiest water possible.

Key Features:

  • Ten-stage system
  • Five-stage mineralization
  • One-year warranty

Cost: $210

Home Master Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Home Master Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

The Home Master Reverse Osmosis Water Filter is the less expensive version of our reverse osmosis filter top pick. This unit has everything that makes our top pick so great, including its modular filtration design and seven-stage water treatment system. What this model does not have is the permeate pump that increases water production. Some people don’t need that extra power, and they can save a big chunk of change while still nabbing a top-quality filter by purchasing this Home Master system.

Key Features:

  • Seven-stage system
  • Modular filtration design
  • Patented ‘Full Contact’ re-mineralization process

Cost: $280

iSpring Superb Under Sink Water Filter

iSpring Superb Under Sink Water Filter

With three layers of carbon filtration, the iSpring Superb Under Sink Water Filter would produce acidic water if it weren’t for its sixth stage alkaline re-mineralization filter. Users say that this filtration system is easy to install and that the filters last a long time. We’ve seen people report that after a year of use they have seen no leaks and have not yet had to replace their filters.

Key Features:

  • Six-stage system
  • Transparent first stage housing
  • Re-mineralization last stage

Cost: $200

Whole House Water Filters

AFWFilters Air Injection Water Filter

AFWFilters Air Injection Water Filter

Built for efficiency and performance, the AFWFilters Air Injection Water Filter removes sediments, iron-sulfur, and manganese from your water system by oxidizing contaminants and trapping them in the filter media. The digital air injection system is self-running, backflushing the filter when necessary and replacing the high-pressure air buddle as needed. The filter media needs to be replaced after approximately five years.

Key Features:

  • Oxidized sediment filtration
  • Digital air injection control
  • Stainless steel bypass valve

Cost: $695

Express Water Anti-Scale Water Filter System

Express Water Anti-Scale Water Filter System

Prevent the formation of scale and corrosion with the Express Water Anti-Scale Water Filter System. This three-stage filter has a polyphosphate filter that removes sediments and scale from your water system, and it prevents calcium from binding to any part of your plumbing.

Key Features:

  • Three-stage system
  • Polyphosphate anti-scale filter
  • One-year warranty

Cost: $430

Express Water Heavy Metal Water Filter System

Express Water Heavy Metal Water Filter System

This variant of the Express Water Filter System removes heavy metals such as iron, lead, and mercury from your water system through its second stage kinetic degradation fluxion filter. It’s also efficient at capturing viruses, fungi, bacteria, and algae.

Key Features:

  • Three-stage system
  • Kinetic degradation fluxion filter
  • One-year warranty

Cost: $450

Express Water Home Water Filter System

Express Water Home Water Filter System

This ‘base’ model of the Express Water Home Water Filter System uses a granulated carbon filter in its second stage which acts like all other activated carbon filters in that it removes chemicals, odors, and foul tastes from the water. The system is easy to set up at the entry point of your home water system and has convenient pressure gauges for each stage of the process so that you can casually monitor its efficiency at a glance.

Key Features:

  • Three-stage system
  • Granular carbon filter
  • One-year warranty

Cost: $400

Budget Water Filters

Engdenton Faucet Water Filter

Engdenton Faucet Water Filter

As the only faucet filter on our list, the Engdenton Faucet Water Filter has a chip on its shoulder, but this is a great little filter that can be activated only when needed for drinking or cooking water. When not needed, like when you’re doing dishes, you can switch it back to the regular faucet flow. The activated carbon filter removes chemicals, odors, and sediment, and it will last six months or longer before needing to be replaced.

Key Features:

  • Activated carbon filtration
  • Faucet filter
  • 360-degree swivel

Cost: $70

LiquaGen Portable Water Filter System

LiquaGen Portable Water Filter System

The compact and installation-free LiquaGen Portable Water Filter System is a reverse osmosis filter with a deionizing fourth stage. This water filter is for use inside of tanks of water. It can be used as a filter for a fish tank or other aquarium, but it can also be used to filter containers of drinking water. It can be transferred to different tanks as needed and can travel with you for extended trips where you will be needing to filter large quantities of water.

Key Features:

  • Four-stage system
  • Reverse osmosis filtration
  • 12-month warranty

Cost: $70

SimPure Under Sink Water Filter

SimPure Under Sink Water Filter

Sleek, simple, and effective, the SimPure Under Sink Water Filter has a single modular design that incorporates two-stage filtering into its compact size. A 0.5-micron sediment filter and activated carbon filter work together to remove virtually all contaminants from your water. This isn’t the fastest flowing filter, but it’ll provide clean water at an affordable price.

Key Features:

  • Two-stage system
  • Quick change screw mounting
  • Six-month filter replacement

Cost: $70

Woder Under Sink Water Filter

Woder Under Sink Water Filter

Easy to install with no plumbing required, the Woder Under Sink Water Filter is a great bargain filter for someone who simply wants a plug-and-play filtration system. The granulated carbon filter is as effective as any other carbon filter on the market, and its particle design gives it a longer life than many others resulting in a filter that can go three years before needing replacement. This is one of the easiest to use filters of them all!

Key Features:

  • Granulated carbon filter
  • Three-year filter replacement
  • Direct connect hoses

Cost: $90

Water Filter Pitchers

APEX Countertop Water Filter

APEX Countertop Water Filter

Ok, so the APEX Countertop Water Filter is not actually a water pitcher, but it is a great alternative to one. This three-stage filter system has a heavy metal filter, activated carbon filter, and a calcite filter that re-mineralizes your water and raises its pH. This stylish water filter plugs into your faucet and sits next to your sink, giving you pure drinking water only when you demand it.

Key Features:

  • Three-stage system
  • Multiple color options
  • Connects to your faucet

Cost: $65

BWT Vida Water Filter Pitcher

BWT Vida Water Filter Pitcher

The BWT Vida Water Filter Pitcher is among the most praised water filter pitchers we’ve seen. It has a multi-step filtration process that removes heavy metals and scaling, but also introduces magnesium into the water for added health benefits. Three bonus filters are included with purchase.

Key Features:

  • Two-liter pitcher
  • Magnesium-adding filter
  • Removes heavy metals and scaling

Cost: $25

EHM Ultra Premium Water Pitcher

EHM Ultra Premium Water Pitcher

The EHM Ultra Premium Water Pitcher is an excellent addition to any refrigerator. This was nearly our top water pitcher filter pick, and we think it is certainly a great choice. It has six stages of filtration that rival even the most expensive home filters on the market, and it re-mineralizes your water to raise its pH and introduce vital antioxidants.

Key Features:

  • Six-stage filtration
  • 3.8-liter pitcher
  • re-mineralizes your water

Cost: $40

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